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Published: October 3, 2015

Alpha 13, Headshot!

headshot scoped

After weeks of playing with nothing but the rwg.mixer and a little bit of prefabbing I decided it was time to start looking at how we want zombies to fall into our urban survival theme.

I've often thought the difficulty needs to be tweaked,  zombies over the long term became a trivial encounter.  Its important to mention that on multiplayer, one particular person or group would not be subjected (until A13!) to every 7 day horde, the max count of zombies seems to get split at random, sometimes we would be overrun at a particular POI or hub, then you could go days without seeing any at all.  Underground bases make avoiding hordes even easier and its hard to not want to 'optimise' on pvp multiplayer servers where you can and will be robbed at any point.

We have the option to make people do less dmg and take more dmg, make zombies feral and perma run, which is a brutal ruleset when all combined together.  I personally don't find the way I have to play under those conditions fun, it is hard to get started, but you have the option of staying away from hubs (most zombies avoided right away) and doing everything anyway except at a much slower pace depending on your luck with random gen prefabs.  It just seems to be an all or nothing commitment to difficulty scaling without making running into a city, let alone surviving in one impossibly hard.

zombie hoard


Now the main changes to the zombies are designed to have the biggest impact within the cityhub and other large towns or particular hubs ,  generally the wilderness spawns have been left alone.  What we believe zombies should deliver is:

  • Permanent threat regardless of level or equipment.
  • Killed easier  in a more realistic manner (headshots), less vulnerable to body damage.
  • The ability to swarm and overrun a player or group.
  • To become a content driver, forcing players into situations or places they did not originally intend

The first set of tweaks is as follows:

  • More HP (5x more)
  • More zombies (upto 150 in the cityhub)
  • Bigger Hordes (good luck)
  • No Hornets
  • Less dogs (no tweaks to them, just spawn change)
  • Zombies will never run
  • Weapon head shot multiplier increased (5x min, some specific melee weaps to be adjusted)


Head shots will be the main way to kill zombies, the multiplier on all weapon and tools has been changed to make accurate shots to the face extremely deadly.  Its a more 'realistic' approach and is often the only way to kill a zombie in most lore.  Early weapons like the bow, while still doing low damage, are very useful now.  The ability to land any kind of ranged head shot will keep the more accurate shooters safer for longer.  Melee weapons and 'some' tools require further tweaks before they can be fully utilised in the way I envision, but even after the first pass of these edits even low quality weapons striking the head will do significant damage.  We want a continuing threat from the zombies, but in a drop everything on death environment  we still want people to lightly scavenge and be able to defend themselves from the second they spawn.  You won't be winning the 2015 annual base raping contest with that faulty spiked club, but it will be your best friend till you 'find' or create something better.

More health and spawns

Zombies at the moment will have their base health multiplied by 5, it brings the HP ranges from 240 to around 2500 for the big ones.  They can survive falling off a building, into a spike moat outside your base and landmines (in most cases 2 does the job).  A common panic moment for me is having them walk along a building roof edge and collapse it with their weight to land in my face!.  The increased Hp range is gonna make overland fort building require a lot of work in keeping and maintaining it, the zombies will be able to do much more damage before things like spikes will kill them.

Swarms of zombies in the city will gather together fast if people make too much noise, stealth has never been so important as it will be with these tweaks.  While the zombies will never run, in fact they are really really easy to get away from, once you break into that building your after looting, you will surprised just how fast a horde can build up when alerted to any noise/smells you might give off while inside.  Dealing with that horde, in testing, is not too hard for those who don't panic and aim for the head, even a faulty bow has the potential to be a zombie killer up close with easy to land head shots but with the tweaks to the max spawn, you will be counting every bullet or arrow that you miss with and more than a few times now I've had to make a parkour style mad dash past zombies, out of windows and onto walls/train tracks etc to get away, leaving most loot containers untouched.

No running and nighttime 

Several zombie stories have gave the undead/infected the ability to be very quick and speedy killing machines (28 days later, dawn of the dead remake) and I think there will be crowds of people who would champion that type of enemy as opposed to what I would describe as the more 'traditional' style of zombie (walking dead series, most other zombie films) being more slow and lumbering with the threat being more about large numbers or surprise attacks.

We are trying to re-create the feeling of 'the walking dead' style zombie and at the moment running has been removed completely, dog spawns are reduced to make using (or trying to) the cityhub from day one something people can actually do, it's achievable with some stealth, basic weapons, friends and the ability to not panic when a lot show up or your becoming trapped  in a prefab.  It's worth mentioning at this point, all references to hornets have been disabled, apart from very niche situations the hornets are a wasted entity and have been pushed aside to make way for more zombies (we'll work on reintroducing honey through other means).

For too long the dark nights of 7 days are spent hiding on the roof of a prefab waiting for running zombies to slow back down, only to be replaced in the later game with sitting in your concrete bunker.... waiting for the running zombies to slow down.  Now in its own way, this has potential to create some good encounters between players, but in all of my playtime I've never bumped into someone who is already hiding in the spot I was going to use to spend the night.  I feel that alongside the other tweaks to the zombies, we are in a position to give the night back to the players.  By this I mean there is no need to 'take shelter' from running zombies, nighttime city scavenging instead of being reserved for the insane, the lucky or the stupid is a valid option for everyone.  It will play nicely into our already developing urban survival theme and we have sufficient areas (sewers/subways/larger custom prefabs) to cover hiding and travelling routes, adding the chance to encounter (and try to avoid) other players at all times of the day.

Will you run around in the dark? will you use the torch you just found? the risk of running into a zombie/s is just as big as running into other players, giving your position away with light and/or noise.  Even seeing an alerted group of zombies is gonna give the bandits some potential to track down and stalk unsuspecting players, the bandits themselves have the same things to consider before they engage and in some cases I think it will be better (funnier too) to lure the zombies to people to do the dirty work for you, or at least use up some of their ammo.  It's these types of situations that are gonna help create content (for better or worse depending which side of the sniper scope you are on!) between players, even shaking things up for the solo people.  When you have to flee into the subway from a large group you couldn't take down, how many other people will you meet in the tunnels who thought the same thing... the sewers and subway are free from naturally spawning zombies and as soon as more than a few groups of people really start to take advantage of that we will see a lot more chance encounters beneath the city.

As usual, the current test server build includes the first iteration of these changes.

Test map details and what you can do

IP: nguk.ddns.net

Port: 26905

Pw: citytest

Test map

Have a look around, explore the wilderness, explore the prefabs, explore the custom hubs around the central city.  Please take some time to play a bit in the cityhub itself, check the map, you cannot miss it!.

Reply in the comments here with:

  • What you liked, disliked
  • Did collapsing areas become a severe problem (i think i few traps set by the map are ok!)
  • Performance: personally i recommend view distance 8, atm this option alone is singly the biggest performance boost you can get in the cityhub, I got 60fps solid @1080p and view dist 5 (before i nuked ALL of the lights)
  • any console errors you might receive
  • taking our urban survival theme in mind, do you see yourself remaining reasonably placed near the city (within say 1500 – 2000 blocks)
  • anything else you might think is relevant, don’t be shy and don’t hold back if things are shit or not to your liking

A few do not’s

  • cheat mode is enabled to allow ease of travelling around the map and to remove the need to do all the grindy tasks.
  • test what 5000 exploding barrels looks like on your own machine, we have a live server to consider
  • for the sake of testing pvp is allowed unless you are requested by a fellow tester to fuck off, testing makes things better don’t be a dick.
  • It is quite common for prefabs on certain rotations to clip into a layer of the cityblocks, this and clipping issues with prefabs in general is mostly known about or unpreventable at this point.

We are interested in hearing your views on the current state of the test server, your feedback is extremely important.  There is no substitute to a bunch of players testing things out and we'd like to know if there are particular things you would change/remove (and more importantly-why).


7 comments on “Alpha 13, Headshot!”

  1. Hello! Paul here 🙂 You guys are doing great work!

    I think Bigc is working on this but yesterday and today I got "cannot connect to server while trying to load the "live server". I also tried manually typing in the name under "modded.

    Here are a few things I noticed while playing the test server.

    1. When you go into that building in the shape of the gun you fall through. The second floor after you break through those two metal doors. I even tried adding my own wood block as the ground and it was a little glitchy.. check it out!

    2. Its seems like there are missing textures. I get that cred cycle with that line through it. This is the case throughout the city for me. I can email you pics if you would like! I think it maybe the thin scrap metal wall/sheet.

    3. To much fog, I've seen others comment regarding this. I love the fog but its a lot a lot!

    4. Wood and reinforced wood doors seem very easy to break through with a crappy stone axe. Anyway to fix this? Im afraid it wouldn't do much in protecting anyone's base if it only takes 40 secs to destroy you know?

    5. I have a pretty good set up but I took your advice and changes the distance to 8. But the cop zombies seem to disappear while only about 15-20 feet away and then pop back in after getting close. This happened every time I encountered a cop.

    6. Anything you plan to do when 13 launches to stop people from logging off while in combat/in danger? Do you have any power to do so? Maybe XP loss, health loss? Maybe you can only log out while you've been out of combat for 5 mins? I'm sure we can agree this really ruins the experience!

    7. Madmole is stated there will be "Sleeper zombies within POI's" that only awaken once inside. If this is so, would you look into adding them within your own PO's? It would be really creepy to walk into a room (when you don't hear any zombies) and then you suddenly awake one!

    Last note, I would really like to see parts of the city with more trees/plants.. maybe throw a couple of tents in there camp fires. don't forget the animal! Hunting for food is important and there will only be so many canned goods to go along... Imagine shooting a deer/pig from the window and having to rush and skin it before anyone else does.. or running through a ally and seeing a bear rubbishing through the garbage.

    keep up the great work! 🙂

    1. Hi Paul! I will answer your posts as best I can

      *Answers from your first post*

      1. Slaan is aware of this and is looking into it, thanks for lettiing us know though!
      2. The red circle with a line through it is a sign (its supposed to be there) feel free to send me an email though just incase its a bug (colin.chambers.emailATgmail.com)
      3. We've heard this is being tweaked for A13, though we CAN mod this. If it turns out it hasnt changed in A13, we will tone it down
      4. Agreed, though if you were attacking someones base (and it was therefore landclaimed) it would be 18 TIMES stronger than a normal door, which is still gonna take a while to smash through. They are rebalancing how much it takes to damage/repair for A13, so if this is an issue when A13 drops we'll check it out then
      5. Hmmmmm, havent experienced this myself, though I always have my distance on 10 or 11
      6. Its a tricky one, we'll have to review this since we have recently reviewed "drop on death" and delayed players using /home by 1 minute to prevent them teleporting away from battle. A good point, i'll put it on the list of stuff to review
      7. It'll be interesting to see what he means by this, i ASSUME it means he will be adding these new zombies into prefab POI entity spawner classes. Either way, whatever it is you can bet your ass we will be implementing it onto our server.
      8. We'll see what we can do regarding trees and animals, Making more animals around is an easy tweak, tbh more city prefabs with trees in naturally (such as parks, gardens etc) would be nice

      *Reply number 2, from the post I copy-pasted from the forum*

      1. The live server is NOT the same as the test server. When we made the live server, we didnt have the city code written for the test server, so from a mixer perspective the live server is pretty standard. The live server DOES have all of the custom recipes etc (see the list of mods/recipes on the main server page)

      2. (there is no number 2?)

      3. The reason you wouldnt have encountered many on the TEST server is that the test server is only a dual core system (whereas the live server is an 8 core), so we have the spawn rate set quite low on the test server. Rest assured though, when A13 drops on the live server, there will be a LOT of zombies.

      4.. Myself and Slaan are busy discussing this. It would be relatively easy to implement as all we would do is attach entity spawners to the underground sewer/subway prefabs, and select what we want to spawn there

      5. Answered this in an earlier reply 🙂

      6. a "Central Park" Park would be pretty cool, though at present due to the limitations of the mixer, we are not able to "randomly generate" a city with certain prefabs at specific points WITHIN the city. I know a workaround/hack to this, but i'd rather not use it as it could cause other stuff to mess up. Definitely something worth bearing in mind though in case we could do this in the future

      7. Could do, though I dont really have the time to edit the prefabs to do this at the minute

      8. Great idea, Slaan has been working on altering the streets with rubble etc to give a more parkour-esque experience

      9 Me and Slaan discussed this the other day, it MIGHT be possible, we are currently investigating. One thing though, is that in A13 cars are changing from entities to blocks, so we might need to wait till after A13 to put this in. great idea though!

      10. Strange, they had literally nothing at all in? I would have expected them to have had at least some stuff in them?

      11. Exactly. When A13 drops we will need to figure out what has changed, then modify our code so that it is compatible with A13, and put any new A13 cool stuff into our code. It takes time, but it's worth it.

      12 + 13. Great idea, this is prefabbing though which i dont have a lot of time to do at the minute. Feel free to try prefabbing (ive lots of tutorials on my youtube on how to do it) and we can help turn your creations into real buildings we could use on the server. It's great fun and a good way to get involved, even if you are totally new at this kind of thing!

      Thanks for the feedback, btw our mumble voice comms server details are at the top of this page, feel free to come on and say hello!



  2. This following message is actually from Paul, though he wrote it on the forum and im about to remove the forum (for the time being till i sort it) so im putting it here so you can see it/reply to it

    "Hello! I’m Paul S the guy who posted on your Youtube video 🙂

    I have a Few more questions! 🙂

    Again, great job with you server! very impressed! I played about three hours and I have a few questions/suggestions that I know will help create a more immersive experience 🙂

    1. Is the live server the same as the test server? If not how do I get into the live one?

    3. I played for about three hours within the city and went through at least one night cycle and only encountered about three zombies. Is there anyway to add more zombies? I’m pretty sure it was only me and one other guy one when I was playing.

    4. Do you have a plan to populated the building, subway, sewers with zombies? How do you plan on doing this?

    5. I would love to see more wild life within the city. I didn’t see any animals in the city. It would be cool to have that “I am legend” feel with animals running around.

    6. What do you think about adding a really large park in the middle of the city? Sorta like central park in NYC! You can have a large pond, wild life, parks, benches, bike parts, sand pit, etc. And of course a lot of plants/ trees/rocks. Also having more plants/tress which show that the city has overgrown.

    7. What do you think about adding the burning embers/ burnt trees and create ” burned down buildings” within the city. That would be a good way of showing that their is a apocalypse going on and it destroyed building during the battle. Can also add that cook smoke effect to the sky.

    8. What do you think about giant car barriers in the street (on their side so you cant jump over). This would make running through the street more difficult by creating obstacles.

    9. What do you think about having parts of the city streets that are broken down exposing the Subway/sewers. You an also have cars down there that have fallen down during the destruction. Have some hanging off the ledge.

    10. I destroyed about a dozen “locked” chests that included medic, supplies and regular chests. I broke and unlocked all of these but none had any items within them. Maybe add items within these chests throughout the city?

    11. Alpha 13 will have many random gen updates. Will you use their new program to randomize the city outskirt and then reenter your custom POI’s?

    12. What do you think about having more destruction outside of buildings? Like they were looted during the chaos, TV’s, couches, etc.

    13. What do you think about adding medic/ quarantine zones with tents, tables, barbed wire, medic chests. This will show that they military/ government tried helping before it got to bad. This will add a lot of immersion.

    I can go into more depth on any of these if you need 🙂 Thanks again! Btw do you have a direct email/Skype that i can communicate with you? I would love to stay in touch and give you feedback over time!

    Paul S"

    1. Thank you guys for the reply!! 🙂

      I really look forward to seeing how you guys implement patch three into your server! I'll send you the pics of the red circle with the line through it to your email. Keep up the great work!

  3. I get the dissapearing police zombies, its quite weird as you can still see other zombies further off but still within draw distance.

    BigC seemed to cover most the questions that I didnt answer already, still looking thru the new compo pack 9 atm and with holidays comming up I dont expect to put out any major changes or blogs for a couple weeks.

    1. Hello guys!
      Here are two links showing off about 150 Custom prefabs that you may want to add to your server.. I'm pretty sure they are out for the public to use as they like 🙂 Check it out!


      pics here

      Also any update on the disappearing Zombie cops?

      1. Hello 🙂

        I went to the test server and went to 0,0 to test out the vending machines. I tired "right clicking the vending machines and nothing happened.. Also I downloaded Mumble for the first time and I used the info to provided but I couldn't get on. Its asking for Label, Address and username.

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